Dan Chitwood

Dan Chitwood

Assistant Professor, Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering; Department of Horticulture;
Room A322, Plant and Soil Science Building
  1066 Bogue St.
 (517) 353-0462

About Me

B.S., 2003, Genetics, University of California-Davis
Ph.D., 2009, Biological Sciences, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Dan Chitwood studies plant morphology—from the molecular basis of leaf development to
quantifying the diverse shapes and branching architectures of shoots and roots.

He received his B.S. in Genetics at the University of California-Davis in 2003. During this time, through a scholarship-internship program with E. & J. Gallo Winery, he was introduced to grapevines, which he studies to this day. Dan then went on to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to earn a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in 2009 (advisor, Dr. Marja Timmermans), studying the potential morphogenetic contribution of mobile small RNAs to leaf patterning.

For his post-doctoral work from 2009-2013 at University of California-Davis (advisor, Dr. Neelima Sinha), Dan studied tomato and wild relatives, applying morphometric approaches (such as elliptical Fourier descriptors) to the genetic analysis of leaf shape.

During his time as an Assistant Member at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center from 2013-2017, Dan began exploring the use of persistent homology, a topological data analysis technique, to describe shapes and three-dimensional branching architectures in plants.

Dan is eager to continue studies of plant morphology at Michigan State University, using X-ray Computed Tomography to capture the growing branching architectures of plants and using topological data analyses techniques to quantify the plant form. Dan will be appointed 70% in the Department of Horticulture and 30% in Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering (CMSE) at Michigan State University.

Research Interests
  • Plant morphology
  • Leaf development
  • Patterning
  • Morphometrics
  • X-ray Computed Tomography
  • Persistent homology
  • Topological data analysis

48. Coneva V, Frank MH, de Luis Balaguer MA, Li M, Sozzani R, Chitwood DH. (2017) Genetic architecture and molecular networks underlying leaf thickness in desert-adapted tomato Solanum pennellii. Plant Physiol. [Epub ahead of print]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.17.00790. Pre-print: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/111005

47. Bender, ALD, Chitwood DH, Bradley, AS (2017) Heritability of the structures and 13C fractionation in tomato leaf wax alkanes: a genetic model system to inform paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Front Earth Sci. [Epub ahead of print]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2017.00047. Pre-print: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/110718

46. Bucksch A, Atta-Boateng A, Azihou AF, Battogtokh D, Baumgartner A, Binder BM, Braybrook SA, Chang C, Coneva V, DeWitt TJ, Fletcher AG, Gehan MA, Diaz-Martinez DH, Hong L, Iyer-Pascuzzi AS, Klein LL, Leiboff S, Li M, Lynch JP, Maizel A, Maloof JN, Markelz RJC, Martinez CC, Miller LA, Mio W, Palubicki W, Poorter H, Pradal C, Price CA, Puttonen E, Reese J, Rellán-Álvarez R, Spalding EP, Sparks EE, Topp CN, Williams J, Chitwood DH (2017) Morphological plant modeling: Unleashing geometric and topological potential within the plant sciences. Front Plant Sci. [Epub ahead of print]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2017.00900. Pre-print: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/078832



No courses for Fall 2017 or Spring 2018.

Click "Teaching" link to see past courses.